As we try to look for a better world, Earth itself has suffered quite some transformation in the last 60 years.
Forests turned into cropland, savannah into pastures, and that’s because we really have a part in deciding Earth’s future. How much do you think Earth has changed in the last six decades?
Here is what you need to know.
Permanent Transformation and an Unknown Future
Earth had come a long way since it occupied a space in the Solar System, billions of years ago. Our planet has continuously transformed, like following an unseen trend, trying not to repeat a thing. But at what cost?
According to recent studies, approximately a fifth of our planet’s surface transformed since 1960. And the numbers are getting really shocking.
Reports, studies, and more data to handle
Counting the transformation Earth had faced since 1960, it gives us around 43 million square kilometres (16.5 square miles) of “remade” land, which can be the equivalent to Africa and Europe combined. However, scientists can explain us better.
Karina Winkler is a physical geographer at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands. She released a statement explaining the land’s importance:
“Since land use plays a central role for climate mitigation, biodiversity and food production, understanding its full dynamics is essential for sustainable land-use strategies.”
Earth has already warmed a lot, 1.2 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial benchmark. But that’s not worrying enough.
Since 1960, our planet’s total forest cover has declined by approximately a million km2, while pastures and cropland have each raised by around the same extent.
Earth has stretched across 510 million km2, and some 70 % of that (360 million km2) is water. And of the remaining 149 million km2, around 15 million km2 is covered by ice. So that means we have about 134 million km2 of ice-free land.
Everything will soon change. As witnessed in Earth’s history, around 17 % of the planet’s land surface has switched categories at least once in the last six decades. More transformation will come until it’ll skin Earth completely.